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The Inner Harmonium (a visualization)
posted by Daniel on February 29th, 2012
We're drawn to kirtan because it is heart-opening, but leading kirtan can have it's panicky pitfalls! Fortunately, this one is avoidable with a short practice.
The crucial ingredient is a stronger experience of the "inner harmonium," so that she doesn't have to hear "the outer harmonium" in order to know what she's playing. A trained musician will be able to imagine her instrument in her mind's eye, and imagine herself playing it, and literally hear the music internally.
To develop this skill, sit with your "external harmonium" in front of you.
> Play a note out loud on the physical harmonium while looking at the keyboard. Listen to the note.
> Repeat this, but now close your eyes and picture the keyboard while you physically play the note. Listen to the note.
> Lift your hand off the physical harmonium, so your hand is in the air. With eyes closed imagine your hand pressing that note on the keyboard. Press your physical finger in the air. Imagine you are hearing the note again.
> Put your hands by your side. Imagination only: visualize your hand on the keyboard, and "hear" the note.
If the visualized "inner harmonium" and it's music isn't clear at first, it's ok! Practice it a few minutes periodically, and after some weeks it'll be vivid as daylight.
Finally, if this exercise becomes easy, repeat the steps with a chord instead of a single note, or a short phrase or melody. Eventually, you'll be able to play entire songs on your "inner harmonium," and it will become a linked-up part of your musical imagination.
Copyright 2010-2012 Daniel Tucker